Linda Darling-Hammond: Personalized Learning Is Built on Strong Teachers

On this week’s Summit Sparks episode, Stanford University’s Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond explains why strong student-teacher relationships and a teacher’s content knowledge are still the timeless and essential elements in an effective personalized learning environment. She talks openly about why strengthening the teacher pipeline for all teachers, especially those of color and those who teach in communities with high poverty rates, is a local and national priority if we want to best serve all students.

Find Dr. Darling-Hammond’s and all episodes at

“Kids need to know, particularly kids in communities that don’t have as much stability available… that their teachers are going to be back next year and the year after that. They need to make those long-term relationships. It pays off in so many ways to make those investments,” says Dr. Darling-Hammond.

Dr. Darling-Hammond’s research on policy issues in education, which has included teacher recruitment and preparation, has been recognized by the American Educational Research Association with a Distinguished Contribution to Research and other awards.


About Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond is currently the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University, where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, also known as SCOPE. SCOPE’s research focuses on four key areas, including the opportunity gap in education and development of policies and practices that expand opportunities.

Dr. Darling-Hammond has conducted research on a wide range of policy issues affecting teaching and schooling and has advised policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government. She began her career as a public school teacher and has co-founded a preschool and daycare center as well as a public high school.

Among her more than 400 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future (winner of the 2012 Grawemeyer Award in Education) and The Right to Learn (recipient of AERA’s Outstanding Book Award for 1998). Dr. Darling-Hammond received her B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale University in 1973, and her Ed.D. in Urban Education (with highest distinction) from Temple University in 1978.


Did you enjoy this episode? Listen to our most recent podcast story on how we can best prepare teachers for success in today’s classrooms, with perspectives from Dr. Darling-Hammond and residents from the Summit Learning Teacher Residency.

About the author

Lauren Faggella
A storyteller and former educator, Lauren Faggella is dedicated to turning the Summit Learning community's stories and ideas into great content that informs and inspires a range of audiences. Prior to joining Summit Public Schools, Lauren was a professional freelance writer and third-grade teacher in Rhode Island. She earned her MEd from the University of Rhode Island and BA in English from Elon University.